Listen to Mama…

 

mamasideeye
Mama throwing serious side-eye!

My 22 year-old son and I are very close.

We always have been.

From the moment he was born, he and I were inseparable.

I can remember turning down plenty of opportunities to go hang out with friends; opting instead to stay home with my baby boy.

People would say, “I know the perfect babysitter.”

To which I would respond with something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t know that person and neither does my son…so there’s that.”

Sounds harsh doesn’t it?

Oh well!

Anyway, suffice it to say, whenever my son (or my daughter) would ask to do things that were borderline ‘iffy,’ I’d think long and hard before deciding whether or not I would allow them to partake.

And, whenever I decided NOT to allow them to do something, I would explain, sometimes ad nauseum,  why I came to the conclusion that I did.

Then I would punctuate that explanation with the following statement, “Baby, you are extremely valuable and you cannot be replaced.”

That said, Mama watched them babies like the proverbial HAWK!

But then…

My son graduated high school and went away to college.

At that point, all bets were off!

He was his own man and I had no control over his choices.

My only saving grace was the fact that I still had influence.

Luckily, my son and I had always been able to talk about ANYTHING…and I mean anything.

He valued my opinion and often sought and listened to my advice.

YAAASSS!

He sought and listened to my advice…

Until he didn’t.

And that’s when I had to come to terms with the fact that this dude was now an adult who was more than capable of making his own decisions.

In short, I needed to fall back!

So nowadays, when he tells me that he’s leaving to go on a tour of the Moon and Mars, I just have to say a quiet prayer, be still, and know that God is watching over him wherever he goes.

Now…

Having said all of that, I recently told my son, “Listen to Mama…but just not too much.”

Friends, I said that because I want him to benefit from my wisdom and experience but not be paralyzed by my fears.

He got my point.

I hope you do too.

But just in case you didn’t…

Remember, whether you are seeking advice from Mama, Daddy, or whomever, use your own discernment.

Take what’s useful and kindly leave what’s not!

***Said the woman who has been white-knuckling her way through motherhood!

LOL!!!

Love and light to you!

LadyG 😘💋

PS:  This is dedicated to my children, R and J, and for ALL of my “babies” in the blogosphere!  

You guys know who you are 🙂

This is also for every parent and child, no matter where you are in the process 🙂

 

Come to the Light

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Remember that old saying, “You are what you eat?”

Trust me, that ‘proverb’ is true on so many levels.

It’s not always about what you physically consume with your mouth–though that’s very important.

It’s just as much about what you decided to bring into your life via your eyes and ears.

Think about the things that you look at and listen to all day.

Are those things adding value to you as a person?

Do they add value to others?

Do they uplift?

Do they bring joy?

Do they inspire?

Here’s my take…

There comes a point when you must take responsibility for what you consume.

Why?

Because, on some level or form, you recreate all of the things that you ingest.

In a nutshell, if you mindfully ingest positive things, you will produce positivity.

Conversely, if you mindlessly ingest negative things, you will recreate more negativity.

Don’t believe me?

Go watch a ‘reality show’ or a ‘news’ program and see if your mind doesn’t start to entertain some of that junk.

Next thing you know you’ll be cussing out your spouse, mate, sibling, roommate, parent, landlord, boss, teacher, dog, bird or cat–all the while writing a hate filled comment on a random website.

Oh, I hear some of you out there in the ethers saying, “But Lady G, I want to be informed, I want to be in the know about all the goings on.”

I get that.

But it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be INUNDATED to be aware.

Do realize, that this whole concept of the 24-hour news and TV programming cycle is a relatively new creation.

There was a time when folks watched the news TWICE –at best!

Once from Walter Cronkite.

Then, again,  from the local 11pm newscast.

That was it!

Wanna know why?  Because not long after that the freaking TV shut down!

What?

Yes baby, there was a time when all of the TV stations signed-off around midnight.

They did not resume activity until the next morning around 6am.

Fancy that?

Oh yeah, by the way, there were others who solely got their news in written form–the newspaper 😉

SERIOUSLY, how many times do we need to see the film, listen to the audio or be verbally assaulted by a myriad of wannabees and talking-heads pontificating about a whole lot of nothing?

What more do you need to know?

Nothing.

You already know everything you need to know in order to formulate an informed opinion about local, national and international events.

Believe me, you do!

And, as for TV programming, do yourself a favor and incorporate other forms of entertainment into your life.

Look for things that improve your intellect, wisdom, knowledge and spiritual understanding.

Get off Facebook and put your face in a book!

Get off Twitter and go listen to some real birds tweet!

For real!  Let’s do it!

So, here’s an invitation to you to come run with Lady G!

Step away from that electrical hearth you call a TV, computer or smartphone and let’s escape to the light 🙂

Any takers?  Meet me in comments 😉

 

😘💋

 

Fun with Symbols

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**Alternate title:  One of 10,000 random stories wandering around my limbic system.

In my neck of the woods, the Caduceus, pictured above, is associated with all things healing, health and medical.

Notice the two snakes intertwined around the Greek God Hermes’ magical winged staff.

Ah, but pretty much everywhere else in the world, the Rod or Staff of Asclepius represents the aforementioned concepts.

While  I refuse to engage in an exposé on the origins, confoundings and controversies surrounding these two symbols, I should, at least, acknowledge that the Staff of Asclepius depicts one snake on a rod–sans the wings.

Whew!

Yes, babylove Google is a helluva drug!

Get into it!

Anyway, for clarity’s sake, I ask that you forget everything I just told you about the Staff of Asclepius and focus your attention solely on the Caduceus.

Why?

Because, the Caduceus is the symbol I wanna talk about 😉

In fact, it is the symbol that I associate, not just with my pediatrician–Dr. Bennett, but also with cheeseburgers, Sears, and pecan caramel chocolate cluster candies–in that order 😉

What the hell?

Let me explain.

When I was a child, my pediatrician’s office was housed in a tall brick professional building that sported a large silver Caduceus on the side.

And, believe it or not, whenever I spotted that magical symbol, my senses would come alive!

Oh yes, it was, indeed, Pavlovian and you, I pray, are about to understand why.

Let me continue to explain.

You see, as soon as I saw the Caduceus from the parking lot– my memory would perk up and I could immediately ‘see,’ in my mind, my dear Dr. Bennett’s handsome smile.

I could ‘hear’ him say, “Hello Gwin, how are you?”

But, best of all, I could ‘smell’ then ‘taste’ the cheeseburgers that Mama and I would, no doubt, eat in a small diner located on the first floor of that building.

Let the mouth watering begin!

Oh, but the fun didn’t end there!

I thought about how immediately following our double date with the cheeseburgers, Mama and I would walk down the street to Sears to buy a bag of pecan caramel chocolate cluster candies– which we’d nibble all the way home.

Delicious!

Remember friends, I experienced all of this before we could step foot into the building for my appointment.

Oh, I can hear you guys asking, “Lady G, what the hell is the point to this story?”

To that I say, “I’m not sure…Do we need one?”

Maybe not.

But isn’t it interesting that a symbol that was meant to represent ideas of healing and medicine could be hijacked by the senses to represent things that are completely unintended like cheeseburgers and chocolate candy?

Our world is highly personalized, don’t you think?

And, on that note, Lady G never looks at a Caduceus without craving a damn good cheeseburger and some chocolates.

What say you about symbols- hijacked or otherwise?

Feel free to go a bit deeper.

Meet me in comments and let’s discuss 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

…Black…Black…

 

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A real life dialogue from 1990 between two young co-workers.  

One Black and One White.

 

Me:  “Hey Teri!  How are your classes coming this quarter?”

Teri:  “Hey Gwin!  They’re coming along OK.”

Me:  “Are you making any new friends?”

Teri:  “Well, yes…but, to be honest,  I’ve noticed that the Black students in my classes aren’t really friendly and they only talk to each other.”

Me:  “Well have you tried starting a conversation with any of ’em?”

Teri:  “Well, no… I mean, I’m not used to being around Black people so I wouldn’t know what to say.”

Me:  “Teri, you’re forgetting something…in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m Black and we talk all the time.”

Teri:  “Gwin, that’s different, you’re Black but you’re not Black Black.

Me:  What?  What do you mean I’m not Black Black?”

Teri:  “See… now you’re trying to make me feel bad, I’m just saying that you’re not like most Black people.”

Me:  “Come on Teri didn’t you just say that you’re not used to being around Black people?  So how do you know how most Black people are?”

Teri:  “Gwin, please don’t get mad.  You’ve been a very good friend to me and the last thing I would want to do is offend you so let’s just drop the subject, I’m sorry.”

Me:  “I accept Teri and I agree; we probably need to move on and start talking about something else.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Heard It Through The Grapevine!

Honeyblonde

**Includes adult language and situations.

“Girl you better come get Ron!  He out here all hugged up with a bitch with a honey blonde bob!”

Yes baby, word on the street was that our dear Ron was stepping out on his wife with a bitch with a honey blonde bob!

YAAAASSSS!

Say what????

Yeah chile!

Sit down and listen while I pour this tea 😉

____

It was a dark and stormy night in Southwest Georgia (No seriously, it really was!) and I decided to visit one of my most favorite men in the whole wide world.

So, I jumped in the car and drove to Cuthbert, Georgia.

To say that the drive was gloomy would be an understatement; the weather was bad and the occasion was somber.

You see, I was going to visit my cousin Ron the night before our Grandfather’s funeral.

Indeed, this was not the happiest of reunions.

Anyway, Ron told me that he had planned to grab a beer at the club.

Which club you ask?

Come on now, Cuthbert ain’t exactly the ATL so you know it ain’t but one ‘club’ in that joint.

At any rate, after driving for about 45 minutes, I had arrived at my destination.

I immediately got out and walked into the club—right up to Ron.

Clearly, he’s a good looking brother so you know he wasn’t hard to find 😉

Sorry for the digression!

So, as one would guess, we gave each other a long hug then walked away from the crowd to have a private conversation.

Mind you, Ron did not introduce me to anybody.

You guys understand right?  It just wasn’t the time or place for such pleasantries.

Anyway, after our talk, Ron walked me to my car and gave me another long hug.

Remember, we were trying to comfort each other because we both knew that the next day would be very long and painful.

Needless to say, right after our embrace, we said our goodbyes, and I drove away.

BAYBEE, the next day Ron’s then wife, who had not been present at the club that night, called me and said, “Girl you know somebody called me and woke me up out my sleep to tell me I needed to get down to the club ’cause Ron was all hugged up with a bitch with a honey blonde bob!”

I hollered!

She went on to say, “Gwin, something told me to roll over and go back to sleep.”

I said, “You know that was me right?”

She said, “Ron told me, and I’m so glad I didn’t come down there actin’ a fool for NOTHING!”

🙂 🙂 🙂

To this day, Ron and I joke about me being the bitch with the honey blonde bob.

Let me correct that, Ron doesn’t cuss—but I do!

LOL!!!

Y’all, I decided to share this story because I think that it provides a great example of the lyrics from that soul classic, “Heard it Through The Grapevine:”

Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

And so…

My advice to busybodies:  Stop being so quick to run back and tell shit!

Pass it on!

 

Remember you can catch up with Ron on his wonderful blog,  The Time Tunnel.  You can also catch him here every Friday 🙂

Best believe you’ll LOVE reading, my cousin,”The Black Mark Twain!”

-Lady G

😘💋

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mona Lisa and Me

Me at 3
Me at 3

“No matter where you go in the room, Mona Lisa will be looking right at you.”

I remember wondering how that could be possible as I listened to my Godfather talk about a picture that was on display in his living room.

Believe me when I tell you that I was NOT convinced that the lady pictured could do that. So, I tested his assertion. I mean I went to every corner of that room to try that thing out and, sure enough, Mona Lisa continued to look at me- no matter where I went.

I should’ve known he was right.

By the way, my Godmother, who looked like a beautiful Black Betty White, loved laughing at my Godfather as he carried on this sort of ‘grown up’ conversation with three year old me.  Best believe that there was nothing that he could ask me or tell me about that I didn’t have a quick response or answer for; well except for the Mona Lisa thing.  And to be honest, when all else failed, I’d just dip into my vivid imagination and make something up!

Making stuff up is a child’s prerogative isn’t it?

Who knew that my Godfather was teaching me to become a creative communicator 😉

At any rate, during visits with my Godparents, I loved watching and listening to my Godfather play jazz tunes ‘by ear.’  From what I understand, he and his sister were raised in a household that placed a high value on education.  In fact, his sister, who was highly intelligent, went on to become a professor at a prestigious American University.  One of the things that I remember most about her was the love that she had for her dear poodle, Zora.

By the way, you are correct if you guessed that her dog was named for Zora Neale Hurston, the Black novelist, folklorist and anthropologist.

Well to me, at that time, “Zora” meant nothing more than small, yappy, white poodle-period.

Anyway, while my Godfather challenged my intellect, my Godmother, who was a nurse, but had the skills and knowledge of today’s Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant, kept close watch on my physical wellbeing. To be frank, she had been doing so prior to my Earthly debut.  In essence, she handpicked my mother’s OB/Gyn and my Pediatrician; both of whom were top-flight. All in all, she took my parents under her wing the minute they arrived in Augusta. So it was only natural that she and her husband would become my Godparents.

By now you are probably wondering why I have coerced you into accompanying me on a promenade down the streets of my memories. In other words, what is the point of this post?

Well I am glad that you asked!  So here we go!

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to pour into the lives of young children -much like my Godparents did for me. Realize that this does NOT have to cost you anything but a little bit of time.

Here are a couple of suggestions as to how you might do this:

Take a child to the public library and show them the process of finding and checking out a book.  Then, read to them.  You might also take them to free events that introduce them to different cultures.  Look for museum specials so that you can also introduce them to the arts.

Teach a child how to prepare your favorite simple dishes like salads and sandwiches. If they are older, you might show them how to use the stove to prepare a cooked meal.

Allow a child to accompany you to the bank, store or any other place where you take care of business.  While there, explain to them what a checking/ savings account is and allow them to watch you conduct a transaction like making a deposit or cashing a check.  If you are fully automated in the banking realm, show them how online transactions work.  Likewise, take them to a grocery store and show them how to select food items and how to pay for them.

Talk to them about money; specifically, about how it is earned, invested, spent, donated and saved.

Allow a child to watch you as you engage in a favorite pastime or routine activity. Help them to research activities that they may be interested in learning how to do.

To be honest, you can apply all of the suggestions above to any person that would benefit from that knowledge.  Get creative about sharing your skills, abilities and knowledge with others. Remember, you can adjust any of my suggestions in order to make them age appropriate.

Now, before I go, I’d like to have a word with anyone who has been named the Godparent of a child:

Godparents, take your job seriously!  Feel free to use my suggestions.  Please don’t think that you are functioning as a proper Godparent if your only involvement in your Godchild’s life is taking them to get a hamburger and a T-Shirt once a year. And for those of you who simply flaunt the title “Godparent” while adding NO value to the child’s life, I would like to challenge you to step up your game in a major way!

Lady G, is now stepping down from the soapbox!

Honestly, I thank God everyday for my Godparents; especially my Godmother who continued to watch over me through my high school years.  I also thank God for my daughter’s Godparents who have always been so very loving, kind and generous to her and my family.  They remind me so much of my own Godparents.

May God always bless and keep these four souls for all the days of their lives; even until the end of time.

Friends, I also urge you to take time to think about and remember the adults who poured into you when you were a child.  Challenge yourselves to pay it back and forward.

Over at Eva’s

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Mama, Tack and Me

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.  Matthew 5:14-16 New Living Translation (NLT)

One thing I can say with certainty is that mama’s light was bright enough for all who encountered her to see.  In that way, she was a living example of God’s love.

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you already know mama.  Sometimes she is referred to directly.  Other times, she quietly lingers between the lines.  Either way, she is always present in just about every post that I write.

Oh, just so you know, mama’s given name was Eva.  She passed away a few years ago so in recognition of Mother’s Day, I’d like to tell you a little more about her.

Ok, let me start by saying that mama was something of a paradox.  In fact she was the personification of the adage “You should never judge a book by the cover.” At first glance she often appeared to be aloof and unengaged.  However, a closer look would have revealed that she was actually quite warm and kindhearted.  In any case, people were automatically drawn to her.  Suffice it to say, there was something disarming about her demeanor that encouraged folks to lean in closer.

Bearing this in mind, I have come to appreciate the fact that mama was a universal ‘mother’ whose influence extended well beyond the three children that she birthed. In essence she advised, taught, consoled, cared for, comforted and united a motley crew of followers. While some of them started out as strangers, most of them ended up as family.

Yes friends, when Eva walked this Earth she maintained a countless number of devotees and each of them sought refuge at her place whenever they needed to.

So if you were looking for the broke young railroad worker who was waiting for his first paycheck, you would have found him over at Eva’s having a good hot meal.

If you were looking for the German lady who felt homesick and isolated, you would have found her over at Eva’s making a connection.

If you were looking for the scared latch key kid, you would have found her over at Eva’s feeling more secure.

If you were looking for the young gay man who felt rejected, you would have found him over at Eva’s experiencing acceptance.

Clearly Ms. Eva set a very high standard.  At her place, she provided much needed light to those who had been navigating in darkness.

Earlier this year I decided to find a broader way in which to pick up where she dropped off; so I started this blog.

Ultimately, I’d like to see this blog become a virtual version of Ms. Eva’s place.  Basically, I envision a digital sanctuary for all who are seeking light.

Yes, I recognize that this is a tall order but I think mama would approve ❤ 🙂

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foxy Lady…Maybe?

Young me 2

This post is dedicated to all foxy ladies everywhere; if you are a woman that means you!

“Yes honey, I was a fox back in my day!”

This is a picture of me from 20 something years ago.  I have a good handle on the year because I was a couple of months pregnant with my son.  You might remember him from one of my Sunday shout out posts.

Anyway, from time to time, I find myself telling the young’uns about how much of a fox I used to be.  Oh yeah, then I usually have to define ‘fox’ –lest they think I’m talking about a small woodland creature.

But just to be on the safe side, let me be clear, a “fox” is a good looking woman.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, I was telling you about my tendency to talk about having once been a fox.  Well baby one day after bragging about my former fox status, I caught myself thinking, “Why in the hell am I saying that?”

Or in other words, what matter does it make?  Or better yet, WHO GIVES A DAMN!

So what if I  ‘used’ to be a fox!  Whether that was the case or not, it is of absolutely no consequence at this point in time.

And so…

What about now?  Well,  I’d argue that all you former foxes need to unite with me and together we can work on accepting this whole aging thing. Come on!  We need to redefine what it means to be a “fox.” Let’s start by learning to love our graying hair and puffy eyes.  And while we’re at it, let’s start to treasure that eternal belly roll that many of us received from giving birth.  Don’t get me wrong, we should get and stay in shape for wellness purposes-first and foremost!

Hell that pudge ain’t going nowhere so long as folks believe in the myth of spot reducing-But I digress!

By the way, this isn’t all about looks!  It is my belief that our new ‘foxiness’ REQUIRES us to cultivate important traits like kindness, warmth, joy, wisdom, tenderness, generosity, loyalty and reverence for God (how ever God looks to you),mankind, and nature.

Once we are done accepting and cultivating all of the above, we must envelope our new selves with  LOVE.  I am not kidding !  This is real talk!

And now…let us go forth foxy ladies!  We’ve got a new generation of real foxes to raise!

Older Gwin
Foxy lady now:  Me laid bare-No makeup and no filters

 

 

 

Alright?

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Updated 3/30/2016 at 10:47 am

“I am a full grown woman, what in the hell do I look like listening to some Kendrick Lamar?”

Yes friends, that was my exact response to my dear twenty-something year old son who had tried his absolute best to convince me to check out one of his favorite hip hop artists.

Now let me level with you.  Even though I opted NOT to listen to Mr. Lamar at that specific point in time, I did keep the idea under my cap.  Frankly, I felt comfortable doing so because I happen to know that my son is quite discriminating when it comes to music; best believe I raised him to be that way.  As the mother of a young and beautiful black man, I simply refused to allow him to listen to BS lyrics even if they were attached to a funky track—and you know how much I love a funky track 🙂

Side note:  Never underestimate the level of impact that both lyrics AND music can have on the development of a child’s mind.

Anyway, one random Tuesday, I picked up the TV remote and began ‘flipping’ stations.  I landed on a black and white music video that began with screams and spoken verse.  Intrigued, I decided to continue watching and listening.  Believe it or not, after just a few minutes, I was completely transfixed by what I was seeing.  To say that the video included several profound elements would be an understatement.

Now, in the words of my Corsican twin, Gloria, here comes the killin’ part!

Right before the video ‘faded to black’ I sat alert so that I could note the song title and artist. Wouldn’t you know it; the title of the song was “Alright” and the artist was Kendrick Lamar. Warning, if you decide to watch the video, do know that it includes graphic language and images.

I just be damned!  My baby boy was right!

Okay, let’s get this straight! You need not worry about me, as a middle aged woman, riding around town bumping Kendrick Lamar.  But, having said that, I ain’t mad at him because his lyrics are FAR from being superficial.  In fact, they are quite deep.  Bearing this in mind, the refrain, “We gone be alright” planted itself right into my frontal cortex.  In other words, that thang rented some space up in my head.

But, in light of local, national and global current events, my mind transformed that very statement into a question:  “Are we gone be alright?”

Well, one thing is for sure, if we continue on this trajectory, it would seem that we certainly are NOT going to be alright.   Even the most cursory glance at the nightly news would cause us to conclude that our society is fully mired in a tangled, matted and mangled mess.

Ya’ll we got problems and we need a serious intervention plan.

So, at this point, you might be asking, “What would our ‘intervention plan’ look like?”  While I am not at all sure, I do think that, in our solution finding, we must consider the following:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

                        -Albert Einstein

 

At any rate, I do tend to agree with Kendrick’s optimistic proclamation that “…if God got us then we gone be alright!” Baby I have to if I am going to maintain my maternal sanity.

But, I don’t think that we are going to get to the state of ‘alright’ by diffusion–remember, osmosis refers to liquids 🙂  It is going to take some doing.

Friends, I’m curious, what do you think needs to happen for us to get to “alright?”